Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weezer - Raditude - Review

Ever since Pinkerton, Weezer's fanbase has gotten consistently angrier with each passing album. However, when Raditude hit store shelves and fans heard a certain rap-tinged pop tune, many declared Weezer dead. However, if one can look past the first two albums of Weezer's catalog, there is a lot to be enjoyed here. Weezer has always been a band that epitomizes the word 'fun'. Catchy hooks, simple instrumentation, and infectious vocals are always par for the course, and Raditude is no exception.

With Raditude, the band trades the pseudo-experimentation of The Red Album for an ultra-poppy gloss. This is immediately evidenced on the catchy opener, "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To". A relatively simple beat and acoustic guitar drive the track, culminating in an excellent a cappella bridge. There are very few surprises throughout the track, and the same holds true for the whole album, but it is an undeniably enjoyable listen.

As far as instrumentation goes, it is relatively minimal. Rarely do the guitars stand out in any way, aside from perhaps the fun and cheesy opening to the fantastic "Let It All Hang Out". For the most part, however, they take a backseat to the vocals. Rivers Cuomo, always the brains behind Operation Weezer, is still writing simple melodies, but for the most part, they work brilliantly. From the absolutely infectious "Can't Stop Partying" to the beautifully desperate "I Don't Want To Let You Go", his mostly mid-range delivery is a joy to hear. His lyrics, while leaving a lot of depth to be desired, fit the poppy sound well, and aren't too much of a problem. The bass and drums serve their purpose well enough, but ultimately don't make much of an impact. Some highlights of the album include the aforementioned "Let It All Hang Out", as one of the catchiest songs on the album, as well as "Put Me Back Together", the essential mid-tempo ballad of the album.

This album is not without its duds, however. "Love Is the Answer", with its sitar fails to make much of an impression, and "In the Mall" is in competitions with The Red Album's "Automatic" as worst Weezer song ever. Overall, this album is nothing mind-blowing, but is entertaining enough without the Weezer purists scrutinizing over the fact that this isn't another Blue Album or Pinkerton. If you're in the mood for a poppy hook, then Rivers Cuomo is your man.


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